There is an air circulating over the city of Columbus, Ohio. It’s an eerie calm that rest over the city especially near the downtown region where The Ohio State University rests.
It’s finals week where some kids are studying hard to get through one last exam so they can hit the pools and the beaches and enjoy a summer in the sun, and others are preparing to finish out their scholastic careers and receive their diplomas at Ohio Stadium this Sunday.
One student is in between both scenarios. He will leave Ohio State with a myriad of memories that range from nostalgic to dreadful. He’s leaving school without a diploma and uncertainty as to where exactly he will land even though he boasts a pretty good resume.
One thing that stands out about him is not his talent in his field of study but all of the damage that he has done to himself and to the University that he called home for the last few years.
That man is the soon to be 22 year-old Terrelle Pryor. Former Quarterback of The Ohio State University.
Tuesday evening after his last final of the quarter, Pryor packed his bags and decided to leave Columbus after a 3 year career that featured more lows than high despite his statistics on the field.
Pryor was a winner on the field. He went 31-4 and won 2 BCS games including MVP honors at the 2010 Rose Bowl and the 2011 Sugar Bowl. However, let’s be honest, Pryor will be remembered for the comatose state that he will left OSU in upon his departure.
Let’s be clear about a few things; one, it’s not all his fault. Gene Smith deserves blame, E. Gordon Gee deserves blame, Jim Tressel, Mike Adams, Devier Posey and Dan Herron, the tattoo parlor, Aaron Kniffer, Ray Reitz and everyone involved in turning a blind eye to Pryor’s transgressions, and giving him everything he wanted and game him every excuse to be who he was.
Ever since high school Pryor was given everything and told how great he was and it continued all of the way to the end of his college days. Tomasina Pryor should’ve known that your kid doesn’t need cars in 3 years, Smith should’ve suspended him and his teammates for the Sugar Bowl, Tressel should’ve reported these violations when they happened. Why didn’t they? Because they all felt that they needed Pryor for whatever reasons there were. Pryor was their bread winner; their prized possession and they treated him like that. How would you act as a teenager when everyone allows you to do whatever you wanted and rewarded you?
Two, as much as I am not a fan of Pryor or his actions these rules are stupid. Bob Knight said it, Jay Bilas has said it over Twitter, the rules broken by these players are absolutely foolish. The fact that big time universities can cash in on their star “amateur” players yet the players cant is foolish.
The players themselves are merely pawns in a game to get their schools more TV money and revenue while most of the players never see the light of the NFL and even worse they never graduate. If Pryor or any of those players wanted to sell their memorabilia or signatures for money then they should have the right to do so.
With that said, rules are rules and Pryor broke them, continuously and without any care for them.
Pryor sold his name for thousands of dollars thanks to signatures for memorabilia. He sold his Big Ten Championship rings and Gold Pants given to the winner of the OSU-Michigan game for tattoos. He got deals on more than eight vehicles in three years… sure no one stopped him or got in his ear but he knew better.
The thing is that Pryor really didn’t care. He always talked like cared about OSU or how he was maturing and learned from his mistakes, but it all turned out to be just here say.
The fact is that Pryor didn’t learn much at Ohio State University, he didn’t learn to obey the rules, didn’t learn to respect the game, didn’t learn that when you do something harmful that it affects more than you or the team but also the institution, but most of all, and this is what will hurt him most, he didn’t really learn to perfect his craft.
Pryor leaves OSU without a clear vision of just where he will play or what position he’ll play. He’s neither accurate nor skilled enough to be an NFL QB right now and it doesn’t look like he’ll be a high pick in its supplemental draft, if there is one. He has an opportunity to play in the CFL or UFL but will it be as a QB or a wide receiver.
Right now Pryor is a man with no real direction as to where to go or what to do with himself.
Then there is the mess he leaves behind him at OSU. 3 years ago he was hailed as the next big thing to come to OSU a legend in the making that will bring OSU another national championship and restore the pride that was taken away by the SEC in the previous two title games.
Now he is vilified, hated and most people wish that he had never come to Columbus. To the students and residents of Columbus he will be the man that brought down the institution that they grew to love. He cursed the school with so much tradition and pride and made it a mockery all over tattoos and cars. He brought shame to Ohio State University and left a stain that will remain on the campus long after he’s gone.
You think general managers and owners wont take a look at that whenever Pryor comes to tryout for a job?
Whatever the case maybe Pryor’s life in Columbus is over and he now joins the professional ranks of the United States of America. He will no longer be coddled, or worshipped. There will be no handouts or benefits for his services unless he performs to his talent level, which he hasn’t.
He will be picked at, overanalyzed and criticized for every little mistake that he makes from now until his playing days are over. All things considered he still has a bright future ahead and can still make something of himself.
However, what he left behind at Ohio State will never be forgotten. Terrelle Pryor came to Columbus to make an impact on the university and to have his name remembered for ever and ever.
He certainly did, but not in the way that he could’ve ever imagined.
Instead of blessing Buckeye Nation with his talent he cursed it with his immaturity and greed. He was supposed to be Ohio State’s quarterback Jesus; instead he became its Judas.